Lily Ann Fouts
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A Woman Pursues Ecuadorian Residency in Loja

When I found out we would be returning to Loja (unexpectedly, see 2016 Holiday Letter), I downloaded The Visa Chase and Other Fun Stories of Ecuador, by Diana Cevallos to my Kindle.  Diana is an expat from the United States who has been living in Ecuador since 2011 and in Loja since 2012.  She spent the first few years trying to obtain Ecuadorian residency visas for herself and her son.  I had interviewed Diana for my book, Live Like a Local in Loja. She has a wealth of knowledge about the city of Loja and culture of Ecuador. […]

2015 in Review

My 2015 started with a cold snap in Fort Collins, Colorado. Keith and I had just brought our motorhome to Colorado and we were still settling in, with the heaters all running full blast. The excitement of living in a great town and the prospect of soon finishing not one, but two books I’d had on the back burner for years filled me with hope for the new year. […]

Racial Issues in Loja

I’ve recently heard from a couple different African American readers of my book, one of whom asked me about racial issues in Ecuador. I’d like to share our correspondence so that others who have similar questions will have an answer. I hope it helps someone!

My reader wrote…

“While you mentioned a great many things about Loja, you did not address the people’s attitude toward African Americans. I have always been able to get along with most people, but I’ve read (on other sites, books and from expats) that Ecuadorian people don’t care for us and do not trust us…if this is true I suppose I have my work cut out for me….when you have a moment, could you please address this concern?” […]

Cuenca in Photos (…and how it compares to Loja)

What makes Cuenca such a magnet for expats?

Although most of my Ecuador posts and my book are about Loja, where we lived in 2014, Cuenca is by far the more popular choice among expats. I think there are several good reasons for this. We spent nearly a week in Cuenca (though I was out of it with a nasty cold for a couple of those days) and really liked it.

In this post I’ll share some of the photos we took in Cuenca, and provide some commentary on my reactions to Cuenca and how I feel it compares to Loja. […]

Podocarpus National Park, Loja, Ecuador

One of the best things about Loja, Ecuador is the great hiking opportunities nearby.  Here are some photos from Podocarpus National Park, in the section closest to Loja.  Enjoy! […]

Vegetarian Foods in Ecuador

I appreciate learning about local foods from the perspective of fellow vegetarians. While Ecuador and Loja have many unique meat-based dishes, since I cannot eat those I want to know the options for vegetarians such as myself.

Incidentally, I am not a vegan even though I feel better on a vegan diet. I try to limit my intake of animal-based products but do eat eggs and dairy products, especially while traveling. I have tried being vegan while abroad, and while it is possible, it’s much harder. […]

Becoming an Expat: Ecuador – Book Review

My book, Live Like a Local in Loja, shares many stories of our experience living in this beautiful southern Ecuadorian city. In it I did my best to provide an accurate description of what to expect. I also included helpful resources and advice for successful integration into the community, for anyone interested in living there for a month or longer.

While my book contains lots of information specific to Loja, I did not research and write about the more general issues of moving to Ecuador—things such as residency requirements, how to go about setting up a business, and details about Cuenca other parts of Ecuador. These topics are already covered in more detail by other books. […]

Market Day in Loja

People commonly ask about the cost of living in Loja, Ecuador. How much does food cost there? Going to the market each week was a treasure hunt for both of us—a constant discovery of new foods and affordable prices. Today I’ll share a few weeks of typical expenses at the local weekly open-air market, where Keith and I always loaded up on as much food as the two of us could carry.

Trip to Yacuri National Park and Amaluza in Espíndola

Not long before we were scheduled to leave Loja, I found a group on Facebook called “LojAventura”—a large group of adventurers who went on hiking trips around the province of Loja. They advertised an upcoming hiking trip to Amaluza and Yacuri National Park for the celebration of World Water Day—March 22nd, 2014. In order to register, we had to obtain bus tickets to Amaluza for 4:30 a.m. and then send a photo of the tickets along with our names and ages to the event organizers. The deadline was just a few hours away.   […]

Our Trip to Saraguro

On March 18th last year we decided to take the bus up to Saraguro, since we’d heard a lot about this town and its indigenous people by the same name. We left Loja early and settled into the front seat of the bus (cost: $1.75 each), where we enjoyed completely amazing views the whole way.

It is difficult to put into words the absolute hugeness of the Andes mountains with the little Pan-American highway threading along the sides of them. Look one way and the mountain rises up into the clouds beyond your view. Look the other way and it falls away to a valley far, far below. I can’t capture it with my camera. […]